exceed one round from each gun in two minutes; and that rate should only be reached at critical moments, when the distance, numbers,and formation of the enemy are such that the fire is sure to be effective. At all other times one round in four to six minutes is as rapid firing as should be permitted. The value of the rifled cannon consists principally in its accuracy; accuracy requires careful pointing, with close observation of the effect, and these require time. Twelve shots in an hour at an object over 1,000 yards distant, the time being spent in careful loading and pointing, will produce better results than fifty shots will ordinarily produce from the same gun in the same time.
The campaign allowance of 250 rounds per gun carried with the division is calculated to suffice for a general action and the combats which usually precede it; and, under ordinary circumstances, an officer who expends all his ammunition in a few hours renders himself liable to the suspicion that his reckless expenditure was prompted to leave their positions under this plea. The guns and cannoneers will remain on the ground until ammunition is furnished. As soon as one caisson from each section has been emptied, the empty caissons will be sent to the rear, under charge of a non-commissioned officer, to replenish at the ammunition train.
At a time when all the resources of the country are taxed to the utmost to provide the Army and Navy with munitions of war, the ineffective expenditure of ammunition, in addition to other evils, diminishes greatly the efficiency of fire to which the artillery might attain; the excessive demand giving us, in many instances, imperfectly constructed and hastily inspected projectiles, instead of carefully manufactured and approved ammunition.
If the expenditure of ammunition continues to be as extravagant as heretofore, it will be impossible to keep the army supplied. The attention of chiefs of artillery and of battery commanders is earnestly called to this subject, and to the importance of preserving the ammunition, especially that in ordinary wagons, from being damaged by exposure.
By command of Major-General Burnside:
HENRY J. HUNT,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Artillery.
HEADQUARTERS TWELFTH CORPS,
Harper's Ferry, W. Va., December 4, 1862.
The Second Division (General Geary's) is encamped on Bolivar Heights. Present for duty, 6,000, and eighteen pieces of artillery. Four thousand infantry of this division, with two batteries, now on reconnaissance near Winchester. One brigade (General Kane's) of the First (Williams') Division, 2,900 men, is in Loudon Valley, near Loudoun Heights. No artillery is with this brigade,as the batteries on Maryland Heights command Loudoun. Colonel Knipe's brigade, same division, 1,900 strong, is on Maryland Heights, with eighteen pieces of field artillery, fourteen pieces heavy artillery, and seven boat howitzers. General Gordon's brigade, same division, 2,500 strong, is at Sharpsburg. One regiment at Berlin, guarding fords at that point and below. Two regiments at Frederick, on guard duty. The Third Division of the corps (General Whipple's) is with General Burnside.
H. W. SLOCUM,
Major-General of Volunteers.